Feature

Living the dream

We catch up with Eliza Bacot, nutritionist, wellness coach and founder of The Organic South, who lives at Serenbe with her husband Benton and their two children, William and Emmeline


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

When did your interest in health and wellness start?
My passion for wellness really started as a child, when I became fascinated with the inner-workings of the human body and all its complexities and systems – it really blew my mind how detailed and perfect the human body is as an organism. When you love anatomy and physiology, a natural path is to pursue a career in healthcare, and I wound up with Masters degrees in both nursing and critical care.

I worked in intensive care, with a goal of learning how to restore and fix the problems of critical illness, but I soon realised how many of my patients in ICU were sick with preventable illnesses.

In 2008, I started investigating our food system, learning about nutrition, as well as pesticides, genetic modification of food, processed food and the dangers of sugar, and I soon began to change my own lifestyle.

How did you come to live at Serenbe?
When I was pregnant with my first child, I started thinking about toxic products and chemicals in my own home, and began incorporating essential oils for wellness and cleaning. I started my blog, The Organic South, in 2012, and my first piece was going to be about the organic farm at Serenbe. After spending a Sunday afternoon here, we fell in love with the community, and within six weeks we had a contract on a home.

In 2016, I left my job as a nurse practitioner – I hated watching people die in the hospital; instead, I wanted to help them learn how to stay out of the ICU to begin with. I love that my background gives me the tools to help people be well and that I have been able to pivot into such an amazing space.

What’s your favourite thing about living at Serenbe?
It has truly taught me about the pillar of wellness that I was missing in my life: community. Community and socialisation are such vital parts of wellness, and it opened me up to those values so I can now translate that to others.

How has the community helped you?
We love being surrounded by people who teach us and make us better. We find so many varying ideals from different people here, but we respect and learn from each other. We find that a community like this offers the opportunity to have many friends from all different walks of life, with different viewpoints and even different life stages. It enriches our life and really fits a growth mindset to be surrounded by that kind of diversity.

How have you incorporated wellness into your life since living at Serenbe?
Serenbe has really enhanced our thinking about the value of nature and being outside on a daily basis. And there are so many educational opportunities to learn about other facets of wellness: mindfulness classes, music events, yoga and meditation classes, community gatherings – it’s just an opportunity to keep learning.

What is it like to raise children at Serenbe?
This is the best part. My kids have such a unique opportunity to continually view the outdoors as just a part of their daily life.

We walk often and discuss the beauty of our surroundings. They get to cultivate relationships with the friends they play with and also have the opportunity to go to school within their neighbourhood. I get the opportunity for other parents to know my children well and also have other adults in their lives.

We believe that growing up in Serenbe will cultivate an appreciation in them for wholesome food, the outdoors and great relationships. I hope they will learn to value those simple, but important things in life.

Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
latest jobs
£24000-27000
Job location: North East, UK
company profile
Company profile: GOCO Hospitality
The specialists in designing, developing and operating spa and wellness spaces.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The Swartberg House was designed by Jennifer Beningfield, founder of Openstudio Architects, for her family
"It’s important for people to be rooted in place. This is a very special house, with powerful connections to nature"

Jennifier Beningfield has built her dream home in South Africa, using ancient building methods

Maximising light with skylights and large windows was key, says Michaelis.
"I firmly believe that homes are for children as much as they are for adults"

Alex Michaelis and his partner have seven children. He designed their home to be full of fun

The wellness kitchen is designed to be an open, sociable space
"I’ve used my own life as a living lab to study the hurdles from a busy career mom’s perspective"

Veronica Schreibeis Smith couldn’t find a kitchen which worked for her plant-based diet, so she invented the wellness kitchen

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Steve Nygren
"Residents share stories with me of how Serenbe has changed their lives for the better and they are healthier and happier - Steve Nygren"

The original wellness community at Serenbe is expanding, with a new hamlet dedicated to health. Jane Kitchen paid a visit

4. Barking Riverside in London will get 10,800 healthy new homes
"The Healthy New Towns initiative aims to design out ‘obesogenic environments’ and design in health and wellbeing"

The UK government is building 10 new towns based on health, with wellbeing incorporated from the ground up. Stu Robarts investigates

The centre is aimed at city dwellers seeking balance
"The key to a happy and successful society is a philosophy that places wellness at the heart of everything"

Calvin Tsao and brother Frederick are reviving the Chinese culture of physical and mental wellbeing with their Octave Living development company, as Christopher DeWolf discovers

A playroom/family room in the loft overlooks 
the living area. The room features reclaimed items including two stained glass windows
"If you look closely at the walls, they almost look like layers of the Grand Canyon. When you use rammed earth, you get wavy lines where the material has been compacted"

Well building guru Jason McLennan opens his home and shares his thoughts about environmental design with Well Home

River House at the Green Village is filled with cosy corners for nesting and relaxing
"We want people to feel there’s hope and possibility and magic in the world"

John and Elora Hardy live a wildlife in the jungles of Bali. Magali Robathan finds out more about their work

cladkit product news
EAS PREVIEW: Bright Buildings to exhibit BrightOpen designs
Bright Buildings will be showcasing its range of BrightOpen buildings
At this year’s Euro Attractions Show (EAS), design and architecture firm Bright Buildings will be exhibiting its range of BrightOpen ...
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
cladkit product news
Dornbracht launches 'next generation' experience shower
Rainmoon is an innovative sensory shower experience designed for use in the home
Dornbracht is taking experience showers to the next level with its multi-sensory Rainmoon concept. “Rainmoon is a culmination of bliss ...
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
cladkit product news
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...